Writer: William Monahan (Screenplay) James Toback (Original Screenplay)
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange, Brie Larson, George Kennedy, Michael Kenneth Williams, John Goodman
Plot: Lit professor and gambler Jim Bennett’s debt causes him to borrow money from his mother and a loan shark. Further complicating his situation is his relationship with one of his students. Will Bennett risk his life for a second chance?
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Painfully Dull
Story: The Gambler starts with Jim Bennett (Wahlberg) in a hospital with his dying grandfather. Jimmy is a gambler and he takes on the most elite unground games in the city he starts with blackjack turning $10,000 into $80,000 but within the five minutes he lost it all. Jim owes the owner money and borrows money from another man who lends him $50,000 as he goes after the money he owes. Jim does make the money back and then some on blackjack before blowing it all on roulette.
Returning to his day job Jim is a college professor who teaches English trying to inspiring the next generation of writers. One of his students Amy Phillips (Larson) very quiet but Jim sees her as the potential best student he has. Jimmy goes to his mother Roberta (Lange) for money she refuses to help to try and teach him the lesson for himself. Jim goes to Frank (Goodman) who can’t understand how Jim wants that much money when he should be able to cope by himself. Frank refuses to lend the money leading to Neville (Williams) wanting his money back early. Jim has to find a way to pay back all the money he owes but his lifestyle doesn’t seem to help in any way.
The Gambler is one of those films that has such an interesting idea but seemingly goes nowhere fast. The idea that this man is involved in gambling is good and how he owes multiply people money I can go with but then just blowing it over and over again while have a good normal well-paying job makes very little sense. We end up watching a one man crash which turns boring with not a single scene pulling you in to the story in anyway. We are left not rooting for the lead, not caring what the loan sharks do and for the students what are they thinking? This really was a poor story that is easily forgotten. (3/10)
Mark Walberg: Jim Bennett the English professor who has a slight gambling problem which leads him to grow his debts. He tests all his personal relationships to repay the debts. Mark has tried playing a teacher, remember ‘The Happening’ yeah this guy can’t play teacher. (3/10)
Support Cast: The Gambler has a supporting cast that is students who all seem to make weird choice for their situation, loan sharks who keep giving money to a guy who never seems to pay it back and family that hates our lead. They all come into the week that Jim is having without really making you wonder what will be said.
Director Review: Rupert Wyatt – Rupert doesn’t drive the story home as hard as it should have been and it ends off coming off very plan and forgettable. (4/10)
Crime: The Gambler shows that happens when you get mixed up with loan sharks in the underground crime scene. (7/10)
Thriller: The Gambler doesn’t manage to pull you in like it should have done. (3/10)
Settings: The Gambler settings all look very generic for the type of film. (5/10)
Suggestion: The Gambler is one you could easily miss and not have to worry about people asking you if you saw it. (Miss It)
Best Part: Basketball scene is about as good as it gets.
Worst Part: Dull storyline.
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $33 Million (So Far)
Budget: $25 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes
Tagline: The Only way out is All in.
Overall: Way To Boring